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Full text of "A history of Persia"

DECAY OF THE CALIPHATE           95
salaries, and purchasing drugs and other requisites. In
Pars, too, his public works were numerous, and one of
them, a dam on the river Kur, which is crossed a few
miles south of Persepolis, is still termed Band-i-Amir,
or the " Dam of the Amir," and is responsible for the
lines of Moore :
There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,
And the nightingale sings round it all the day long.
The decay of the dynasty was rapid after the death
of the Azud-u-Dola, and Mahmud of Ghazna prepared
to attack Rei, which during the minority of the Majd-u-
Dola was ruled by his mother. This intrepid woman
returned the following reply to an envoy sent by Mahmud
to demand her submission : <c Had this message been
sent in the lifetime of my deceased lord it would have
caused serious trouble, but such is no longer the case.
I know Sultan Mahmud and am aware that he will never
undertake a campaign without weighing all the risks.
If he attacks and conquers a weak woman, where is the
glory of such an achievement ? If he be repulsed, the
latest ages will hear of his shame."
Whether or not Mahmud was swayed by these argu-
ments, he postponed his designs until the Majd-u-Dola
had attained his majority. Then, in A.H. 387 (997), he
sent an army which seized the person of the prince by
treachery and occupied Khorasan and Kumis. The
family, however, retained Southern Persia and Irak for
some time to come, until the Seljuks appeared on the
scene and ended the rule of this Persian dynasty.
The Dynasty of Ghazna, A.H. 351-582 (962-1186).
—Under Abdul Malik the Samanid thgre was a certain
Alptigin, a Turkish slave, who became commander-in-
chief in Khorasan. Upon the death of the monarch he
retired to Ghazna in the Sulayman mountains, where his
father had been governor, and there he, his son, and his
slave Balkatigin in turn ruled in obscurity. The real
founder of the famous dynasty was Sabaktagin, another
slave, who succeeded to the governorship through his
marriage with Alptigin's daughter. This truly remark-